It’s hard to believe that the students and I have been in Rome for nearly four months. Tempus fugit, time flies, as the ancient Romans said. This week is final exam period and our lives are full of exams, papers, presentations, and final projects. We’ll enjoy a festive CEA farewell dinner to end our academic semester and then start packing to go home. Advent has begun and the traditional Christmas market on Piazza Navona reminds us that the holidays are right around the corner. The grocery stores are selling Italian delicacies and sweets that are only available at this time of year and we’re wondering how much we can fit in our carry on luggage.
I like to say that “Rome is not a city, it’s a drug!” And all of us have become addicted! Already some of the students are planning a return trip to the eternal city as soon as their bank accounts allow. The Italians believe that one way to assure a return to Rome is by throwing a coin in the Trevi Fountain. By now all of us have thrown at least a few coins in that famous place.
During our last week of classes, I asked the students what they will miss about Rome. Many of them said this was a difficult question since they would miss so much about our study abroad experience. Sights and sounds, people and places, foods and drinks were all on the list. Here’s what some of them said:
“I will miss many things about Rome when I leave. One thing will definitely be the food. I have been spoiled this semester and I don’t think any Italian food will ever taste the same. Another thing I will miss is walking or driving past such important places in history. It has become normal to see St. Peter’s Basilica, the Colosseum, the Trevi Fountain, and other amazing places daily. This has been a wonderful semester and I will forever cherish all the memories I have made!” – Maureen Murphy
“I’m going to miss having all of Europe (and their food), all of the historical sites, and so many different and great experiences at my fingertips! I appreciate it all in the moment, but once we’re gone, we’re definitely going to wish we were back!” – Lauren McNulty
“I am absolutely going to miss the amazing food and gelato!” – Chris DiPisa
“Although I will certainly miss all the different aspects of Roman culture, I honestly will miss the food, like street pizza and gelato, the most!” – Rachel Mano
“I will miss being able to eat the most unbelievable food on a daily basis!” – Joe Kirpas
“I will definitely miss the great food and gelato throughout the city”. -Mike Boland
“What I will miss about Rome: Sitting in a café, sipping on a macchiato, reading a good book and people watching- living fully in that present moment of time.” – Lauren Hoover
“I am going to miss the friends I made on this trip!” – Melissa Perleoni
“I am going to miss exploring all that Rome has to offer with my amazing roommates!” – Ali Pappano
“What I’ll miss most about Rome is its timelessness. I’ll miss seeing Roman ruins and to 20th Century Monuments. A church from the 4th century here, one from the 16th there. The bones of the first pope beneath St. Peter’s and the 266th pope inspiring thousands in the Square. They don’t call Rome the Eternal City for nothing.” -Joe Day
“What I will miss about Rome: I’m going to miss the simplicity of life: I love not being attached to my phone, constantly checking Facebook or texting, it forced me to actually look around when I’m walking and to have conversations with people, allowing me to make truer friendships than I ever have before. The Italians have forced me to slow down and realize how many hours I actually have each day and realize I can even make two days out of one.” – Elizabeth Ward
Arrivederci Roma! Go Friars!